By Patrick Hawthorne
Scaling the two-hundred foot wall, Rip Tu’ Shreds paused to catch his breath. Looking down he felt a slight twinge in the pit of his stomach. To fall meant certain death for him; to fail in his mission meant certain death for all of mankind. Pushing the feelings aside he continued his ascent. He had one goal and that goal was to take out the villainous villain by the name of “Hornet.” Will he succeed? Stay tuned…stay alert….stay away from little flying insects with large stingers.
The above story is true…well, some of it…ok, none of it is true except for the wasp part. The truth is that I was walking across my back yard banging on a metal dog food bowl (playing to the tune of a song in my head) when a hornet stung me on the back of my neck. Grabbing my neck, I yelped and spun around. About that time two more wasps got me. One of the stings caught me just above my upper lip. In a short bit of time, my lip began to swell mightily.
What about the two-hundred foot wall in the story? Well…that was actually a ten foot ladder needed to reach a basket ball sized nest. And…, the “death for all mankind,” was really me spraying the nest with wasp killer to keep my wife, dogs, and me from getting stung anymore.
Have you ever told a story in which you painted yourself in a more favorable light? Sure you have…we all have…or most of us, anyways. Up north, it is called embellishment. Down here in the south it’s called “Lying through your teeth.” Either way, this subtle spin of the truth is, more often than not, an attempt to make ourselves look better in the eyes of our listeners. Before long, all semblance of truth has been replaced by an implausible yarn.
In following the teachings of the Bible, are we allowed to embellish stories for a comedic affect? Isn’t this still considered lying? After all, the Bible says, in Proverbs 12:22 (NIV) “The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in men who are truthful.”
I’ve learned, through the years, that God deals with the heart. So…let me ask you this. What is the motive behind your embellishments? Are you trying to paint yourself in a better light, or are you just enjoying light hearted banter, knowing that you can bring a smile to someone? Only you know the answer to that question. As for me, I enjoy spicing up my adventures (my dumb mistakes) through my alter ego, “Rip Tu’ Shreds.” That way, I can lie through my teeth and blame it all on him.